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Understanding the Stages of a Colorado Trucking Accident Claim
Colorado Trucking Accident Attorneys

Trucking accidents are responsible for the death of more than 5,000 people every year, along with more than 100,000 serious injuries. In a significant number of trucking accidents, the automobile driver is not to blame. The negligence can lie with multiple parties, including: the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck, the loading company or the person or company responsible for maintenance. Because there can be such a variety of defendants, trucking accident claims are typically much more complex than accidents involving only automobiles.

Settle or Go to Court?

It can be difficult for the victim of a trucking accident to determine whether to settle their claim early on—probably for less than a jury would award—or to spend the next year or more involved in litigation in hopes of a larger settlement. Of course only you and your attorney can make such an important decision, and it is crucial that you allow your attorney’s experience and knowledge regarding trucking accidents to influence that decision.

To give you an idea of how your claim will progress, the following information details the stages of a trucking accident claim:

  • Collecting evidence will be the first phase of your trucking accident claim. Some of the most important evidence will relate to the truck driver’s driving logs and personnel files. DOT rules dictate that a truck driver cannot drive for more than eleven hours at a stretch, so these logs will be important in determining whether the driver was overly fatigued at the time of the accident. The driver’s personnel files will tell your attorney whether the driver was properly trained, and whether a thorough background check was performed at the time of hire. The safety record of the trucking company, witness statements, photos of the accident site, the evidence obtained from the truck’s black box, communication records between the company and their driver, the official police report and expert reconstruction of the accident are all types of evidence which will be collected during this period.
  • After sufficient evidence is collected, a demand letter will be submitted to the at-fault party.  The demand letter puts the other party on notice that you intend to file a lawsuit, detailing the reasons for the lawsuit, the damages you are seeking, your injuries and the amount you are seeking as a settlement for your injuries and damages. The other party or parties will then have the opportunity to respond to the demand letter, and may make a counter-offer—which is sure to be less than you are asking. If you believe the counter-offer is fair, you can accept it and the matter will be put to rest. If the amount is completely unsatisfactory, your attorney will continue negotiations. If no mutually acceptable settlement can be reached, your attorney will file a formal court complaint and a lawsuit will be initiated against one or more defendants in your accident.
  • Getting to the point of an actual trial can easily take a year or more. A jury will be selected, and your attorney, as well as the defendant’s attorney, can vote against accepting specific jurors they feel would not be sympathetic to your case. Opening statements will be made, then the attorneys will begin calling witnesses and questioning those witnesses who have been sworn in and promised to tell the truth. Expert witnesses may be called from both sides to back up claims. When the trial comes to a close, the attorneys will make their closing arguments in an attempt to influence the judge or jury. The jury will then reach a decision, and the verdict will be read aloud in court.

Getting Solid Legal Advice from Your Denver Truck Accident Lawyer

The period preceding the trial as well as the trial itself can be highly stressful and can cause you to lose significant amounts of work. Only a highly experienced Denver trucking attorney can best counsel you on whether to settle or go to trial, and only you can determine whether the stress is worth the eventual (probable) payout.

Contact Denver Trucking Accident Attorneys

Colorado trucking accident attorneys, Fuicelli and LeeIf you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, it is important to understand how your claim will likely progress. An experienced Denver trucking accident attorney can review your case and help you throughout every phase of the litigation process. Contact the Denver trucking accident law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form here.

 

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